Moving Europe

Door bells / Photo: mauritius images/imagebrokerDoor bells / Photo: mauritius images/imagebroker

Door bells / Photo: mauritius images/imagebroker

With the title of "European Capital of Culture" rightly comes the expectation that the incumbent cities will define benchmarks and serve as role models, that they will embody nothing less than a unifying visionary force that Europe and indeed the Ruhr Metropolis with their rich cultural diversity both need.

Looking back, Jean Monnet, co-founder of the European Coal and Steel Community, the forerunner of today's European Union, is reported to have said: "If I had to start again today with the construction of Europe, I would begin with the culture."

In current times, with the EU constitution still not a reality and Europe most readily associated with regulation and bureaucracy, there is increasing focus on the role played by culture as an identifying force in Europe, so adding even more significance to this, the 25th anniversary of the "Capital of Culture" title.

RUHR.2010 has a European mission. The Europe that is the leitmotif permeating every area of the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010 is the Europe of people and creativity, research and active involvement. In the "Moving Europe" part of the programme, the Capital of Culture is expressly concerned with the issues of migration and identity, culture and education.

Within the programme's four sub-areas, namely TWINS, MELEZ, Science and RUHR.2030, the Capital of Culture is spearheading collaborative projects designed to facilitate meaningful dialogue among Europe's citizens, strengthen creative exchange between artists and promote international academic discourse.

TWINS and MELEZ are all about a vibrant Europe of interaction and cooperation - without bureaucratic regulation. These initiatives confront the experience of 150 years of migration and grapple with the day-to-day lives of people from over 170 different nations who are the face of one of Europe’s largest conurbations.

Science and RUHR.2030 seek to address issues concerning the local and global present and future: what role does the European city have in a Europe of regions? How is the Ruhr Metropolis developing, and what will be the consequences of an ageing society? What role will renewable energies and climate change play in a global and local context? How can we introduce children and young people to a cultural education, and what are the opportunities presented by increasing multilingualism among the offspring of immigrant families?

Globalisation is challenging Europe's self-perception. Internal divisions and the outward expansion of the EU are forcing us to redefine Europe for ourselves. RUHR.2010 seeks to play its part in ensuring that, moving forward, European culture is viewed positively and developed constructively.

The "Moving Europe" programme consists of four different themes:


What is TWINS? TWINS involves 53 towns and cities in the Ruhr region, more than 200 of their twin towns and cities throughout Europe and beyond, 100 enthralling, forward-looking ideas and projects, and over 1,700 participating artistic ensembles, cultural associations, institutions, independent organisations, choirs, schools, agencies, artists and performers, plus the relevant municipalities and consulates, altogether comprising thousands of individuals. Photography, painting, architecture, urban planning, jazz, classical music, chansons, brass bands, folk music, ballet, hip-hop, modern dance, theatre, puppetry, improvisation, pantomime, mask-making, poetry, fiction, fantasy, writing and painting competitions, cooking, gardening, sports events, culture camps and inventions… the list of activities is endless. What they have in common, however, is the requirement that each project be a collaborative undertaking involving partners from the Ruhr region and cooperation partners from its European twin towns and cities and/or from Istanbul, Pécs and Israel.

In spring 2008 and 2009, an international jury panel nominated the 100 best TWINS ideas from just under 500 project applications. Official nomination as a TWINS project signifies inclusion in the RUHR.2010 programme and, in most cases, financial support. TWINS is designed to offer young people in particular an array of opportunities to play an active role in shaping the European Capital of Culture and to implement their own, unconventional project ideas. Over recent years, TWINS has become a compelling creative driving force for a cultural Europe of superlatives.

A brochure detailing all 100 TWINS projects will be published in late 2009.

Project sponsor: Deutsche BP AG

Jump to the theme: TWINS


Often, the basic insights are the ones that are the most difficult to reach. Among them the recognition that Germany is a country of immigration. It has taken a long time for this fact to become widely accepted. All the more reason to address the issues arising from this development - a challenge the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010 also wants to meet.

The Ruhr is particularly well suited to analyzing this process and its impact as the region is itself shaped by massive waves of immigration, going back to immigrants from Silesia, West and East Prussia (then parts of eastern Germany) from 1880 onwards to the coal miners who came from Belgium, France, England and Scotland around 1900, and the Italian, Portuguese and Turkish guest workers post-1955.

With residents from 170 countries, more than 2,000 religions and all social classes, today's Ruhr metropolis is in a way a smaller version of the world as a whole. Therefore it is ideally positioned to become a future-oriented immigration society. The key challenge is the "art of living together". How do we see each other? How are immigrants and their families participating in the region's cultural life? How do we enable their participation? How do we set up our cultural institutions - and for whom do we set them up? Who exactly is the target audience for all the cultural events and activities that take place in the Ruhr metropolis?

The search for answers needs to involve everyone: the people of the Ruhr - both the immigrants and those whose families have been here for a long time; the theatres, museums, concert halls, socio-cultural centres; their managers, artists and political leaders. They will discuss these issues in workshops and develop new concepts for our cultural institutions in a diverse society.

The MELEZ festival is part of this process. It will focus on what our world would look like if people were not labeled according to where they come from or what they believe in.
Jump to the theme: MELEZ


The Ruhr Metropolis has one of the densest and most widely varied science and R&D communities in Europe. Its many universities, technical colleges and independent research establishments are integral to a range of regional, European and international networks; they are renowned for their research and teaching programmes, enrich the culture and make a vital contribution to discourse in the region. In 2010, these academic organisations will present themselves as actors and entities capable of playing a key role in tackling the fundamental issues facing the Ruhr today and tomorrow - migration, intercultural issues, demographic trends, creativity, climate change - and in enriching the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010.

Jump to the theme: SCIENCE


What will become of European towns and what role will they have in a world of mega-cities? How will the Ruhr region develop? What role will renewable energies and climate change play in a global and local context? How can we provide cultural education and job opportunities for young people? The events that make up the RUHR.2030 programme take the form of real-life case studies. They reveal what the future might look like, demonstrate that the future is tangible and modifiable, and show that it is each individual’s responsibility to play an active role in shaping their own environment - locally and globally.

Jump to the theme: RUHR.2030

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